Friday, February 29, 2008

WC: Tanzania: The Advenure Continues


Spent a few nights in places without computers--and sometimes without electricity. They're tented camps--you get your own little cottage, which is a large tent with one or two walls to make a bathroom, but no doors. You zip to get in and out, which turns out to be rather hard on the back because you have to bend all the way down to zip and unzip from the bottom. At one of the places, we had a flimsy little lock with which to sort of secure our tent, but any person or animal could have gotten in. At the other place, they didn't bother with the charade of a lock.

There are so many things to talk about and I have so little time. We're going into the Ngorongoro Crater today--the largest caldera (collapsed volcano) in the world. We're on the rim now, up many tens of thousands of feet, level with the clouds. Earlier, when we weren't so high, we stopped and looked into the crater with binocs. Even with the x10 magnification, the animals were tiny--even the elephants. Hippos looked like brown dots in a pool of water. But we could see thousands and thousands of flamingos, which we could discern by the swath of pink along the huge lake.

Sometimes we see so much at a time it's hard to know where to look. We'll all be standing in our pop-top vehicle, sometimes standing on the seats (against the rules, but hey . . .), trying to see in twelve different directions and climbing over each other for the best angle of whatever interests us. I think, among us, we have gotten some amazing photos and video.

We've had some lovely experiences with people here. Unfortunately, I missed the most extensive interaction because I had decided against a hike because my back was recovering from a spasm. It was the right decision, but I did miss the Masai guy who showed my group how to throw a spear and use a slingshot (and then was annoyed when no one gave him money), as well as a bunch of kids following them around.

We do so much in a day that I have actually fallen asleep while writing in my journal. I have a funny page full of blots and cross-outs and sentences that make no sense at all. Also, a sentence I was sure I had written was missing, so I must have dreamt it.

Today I went to the bathroom in an enclosure with a couple of big crickets and a tiny milliped and didn't panic. Growth!

When we got to this lodge today, we were greeted with glasses of pineapple and hot wet towels. This place is owned by the same folk as the last lodge I wrote from, and it turns out that the designs on the squares of the uniforms are actually diamonds, not squares.

I've learned a lot about my lack of visual acuity on this trip. Many of my group can look in a crowded forest and pick out a tiny bird--and then discuss its markings so that they can identify it. But, starting today, we're focusing on big things!

My main expense so far has been buying water. At about $1.80 for 300 ml (whatever that is), it adds up. We buy water to drink, but also to brush our teeth with, etc.

Well, gotta go. I miss you all. Wendy

1 comment:

The Write Bunch said...

DW: Wendy, thanks so much for your field reports. It's really exciting to read, and even more exciting to imagine being there with you. I'm really astounded and thrilled that you're doing this!!